Race for Paradip: Dama Rout fires salvo at BJD leaders

Bhubaneswar: A day after BJD’s Cuttack Barabati MLA Debasish Samantaray said that he had to forego his interest for fighting from Paradip constituency because of Damodar Rout, the latter today took a dig at the MLA saying that Paradip is not an idle patch of land that anyone can come and start cultivating.

Rout said, “My supporters organized four samabesh in a row following which Naveen Babu himself called me and asked to contest from Paradip. Biju Babu had entrusted me the responsibility of Paradip constituency and made me the Chowkidaar of the constituency. If Debasish wants to fight, he may; I have no problem, but I doubt if the people of Paradip will accept him.”

MLA Debasish Samantaray had earlier on Tuesday opened up his interest for fighting from Paradip Assembly constituency in 2009 saying that he had to forego the idea since the seat was alloted to Rout.

“Damodar Rout was protesting the delimitation of the constituency (in 2009) but with my effort, I managed to reconstitute it by combining some areas of Tirtol, Kujang and Paradip NAC and I wanted to contest from the seat,” Samantaray had said.

Speaking at a padayatra in Paradip, Samantaray also urged the residents of Paradip to give a lesson to Dama Rout for throwing challenge at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. He also said that Rout should retire from politics as he is getting old.

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On the other hand, Health Minister Pratap Jena today said Dama Rout has betrayed CM Naveen Patnaik.

“Whoever has left BJD has faced the music and the condition of Dama Babu will be worse. There are many candidates for Paradip and Debasish Samantaray is not keen on leaving Cuttack,” he said.

Speaking on Jena’s comments, Rout said the Health Minister should rather identify his own constituency.